In a recent discussion on our FB page, a commenter displayed cynicism over the topic of the US’ future prospects to improve. Particularly on things like education, the financial sector, quality of life, ending the drug war, and so on. He cited the country’s sheer inability to even call itself a “democracy” anymore, or be labeled as “progressive” in any real way, to be the main culprit.
To many, the reasons are clear as to why the USA is not following suit in matching the progress being made by other countries. Countries like Finland, Iceland, and even Portugal. The latter which has gone as far as to legalize ALL drugs, and is serving as model example the world can surely learn from. It’s readily apparent that the entire US political system, and all of its politicians have been bought and paid for. Therefore nothing can really get done. At least for the commenter, all the shots are called by major corporations who own this country, the politicians, and “all of us” (only applies if you’re American).
Therefore, voting must be useless and nothing more than a ruse by the system to keep many of the American populace thinking that their vote “counts”. So what’s the point of even voting? The whole concept of the US is nothing but, according to him, a “grand illusion”.
Before we continue, let me just state this. The Great Plutocracy may “own” the country, it may even own the politicians. But it can’t own “all of us” unless “we” choose to be owned. “We”, at least for the most part, still have some say in that matter. Whether we know it or not, we can choose how to live, how to work, how to sustain ourselves, how to spend our money, where to spend our money, and even how to educate ourselves. We can either choose to make our own choices or have choices made for us.
I for one, make my own choices. It’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to adopt the lifestyle I have, and do what I do.
Back to the matter of voting/democracy…
While I agree that the US has definitely evolved into a bizarre plutocratic abomination, I disagree that voting is useless. The value of the vote is not an illusion. At least not yet.
The fact that Obama won last November is proof of that. Obama, as plutocrat-friendly as he appears to many, is clearly NOT the same thing as the plutocrats’ favored horse, Romney. Suffice to say, if Romney were in office, things would be proceeding FAR differently in the US, and not one of those differences would be good or positive.
There are MANY significant if not subtle nuances and differences resulting from Obama’s somewhat centrist presence. And it does temper government somewhat, and keep it from totally careening off the tracks. It’s important to understand that despite all appearances indicating otherwise, the government is still operating under some guise of democracy. Even if that’s not the case below the surface.
Isn’t something better than nothing? I like to think so. To me, it’s better to have at least SOME resistance, if not centrist voice against the obvious, out of control plutocracy, than no voice.
Need proof that democracy is still at least somewhat breathing? Look at how much the plutocrats and corporations spent to get Romney elected, and failed. That alone is a clear sign. A sign that despite the stupidity, and insanity, there is still at least some semblance of democracy left in the system. At least on the surface. And if that final shred is lost, then the US is truly fucked.
Now, is not the time to be cynical. It’s the time to be pragmatic and smart. Know the game you’re in.